Incentivize, Recognize, & Keep It Fresh

How to Create A Culture of Engaged Employee Referrals

Employee referral programs are earning more and more recognition as an impactful way for companies to create a steady pipeline of qualified job applicants. They attract motivated professionals who are more likely to be hired quickly, to enhance existing company culture, and to stay in their new position longer than other methods of talent sourcing. By mobilizing their own army of recruiters, companies have discovered the power of existing employees to attract top talent and create positive change.

While employee referral programs have become a favorite of HR departments, they are most successful when the whole organization buys in. The programs that fail do so because of a lack of ongoing support and reinforcement, causing them to fizzle out after several months or years. To take advantage of the robust benefits of employee referral programs, companies can create a culture of referrals so that employees, executives, and HR all stay engaged and active in the referral process. How?

Start With A Strong Foundation

The underlying strength of any employee referral program is a great company culture that employees want to evangelize! After all, no one recommends a restaurant they didn’t enjoy and the same is true of a workplace. To create a culture of employee referrals, start by ensuring that your employees feel engaged and appreciated.

One impactful step is to create (or reassess) the company’s Vision, Mission, and Values statements with employee input. A surprising number of employees either aren’t aware of these strategic components or feel a disconnect between them and their daily experience. Including employees in the creation of these inspirational statements not only engages them in the impact of their work, it provides them with valuable insight and knowledge to deploy in their recruiting efforts.

Take a Top-Down Approach

While all employees have their boots on the ground in the search for qualified and motivated referrals, executives and managers have an additional opportunity to participate in the success of an employee referral program. When implementing a program, make sure that the c-suite is educated in how the program works and able to encourage employees in their referral efforts. Managers also play an important role in maintaining the momentum of a referral program. Companies that take a top-down approach to employee referrals create institutional support that helps their referral program thrive over the long term.

Provide Ongoing Engagement Opportunities

Once everyone within a company has been educated about the benefits and opportunities provided by active employee referrals, it’s easy to create enthusiasm for the program. Employees appreciate that referring their contacts enables them to serve as change agents at work and to participate in building the future of the company. However, it’s possible for this early momentum to slow if there are no ongoing opportunities for engagement.


In order to increase adoption rates and encourage participation, it’s vital to provide incentives to employees. Whether it’s a gift card for coffee, a company t-shirt, or even a cash bonus, employees are most likely to actively seek out referral opportunities when they can look forward to a reward for their efforts.


Once employees are active and engaged in the referral process, it’s important to recognize the contributions they are making. While publicly validating employees who make a high number of referrals is great, consider recognizing top-performing departments to encourage even broader participation. The “gamification” of the referral process encourages productive competition and active engagement.

Keep It Fresh

Keep your referral program front-of-mind with a rotating schedule of incentives and recognition opportunities. Friendly reminders at meetings, push notifications when new openings occur, and periodic employee check-ins can also go a long way toward maintaining momentum.

Make Referrals Easy & Intuitive

Above all, referral programs must be easy and intuitive to achieve longstanding success. That’s why JobShakers makes the employee referral process simple and accessible. Our mobile app leverages the increasing prevalence of online job searches and enables employees to quickly and intuitively refer anyone on their contact list. Our comprehensive employee referral program solution includes built-in incentive and recognition opportunities to build and preserve momentum and results. Push notifications notifying employees of recent job openings keep the referral program active and engaging.

JobShakers was created to provide HR and recruiters with everything they need to quickly and painlessly implement an employee referral program. We understand that a culture of engaged employee referrals is the gold standard for recruiting, so we’ve built a solution that enables companies to experience the benefits of employee referrals without the headaches of traditional recruiting methods.

Are you ready to create a culture of engaged employee referrals? Contact us today to learn more!

By |2017-03-16T21:18:42+00:00February 27th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

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